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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That straw stalactite; straw is 1. the simplest form of stalactite - a fragile, thin walled tube, normally of calcite, which is the diameter of the drops of water that hang from its end and continue its growth. though only about5mm in diameter, straw stalactites (or straws) may grow to great length in clusters of spectacularly dense profusion, more commonly in caves of cooler climates. the length record may be held by a 6m straw in easter cave, western australia. also known as straw stalactite or soda straw [9]. 2. thin tubular stalactite, generally less than a centimeter in diameter and of very great length (examples as long as 4 meters); also called soda straw [10]. see also soda straw; stalactite.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for facies (Keyword) returned 144 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 144
Geology and hydrogeology of the El Convento cave-spring system, Southwestern Puerto Rico., 1974,
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Beck Barry F.
Whereas the North Coast Tertiary Limestones of Puerto Rico are classic karst locales, their southern counterparts are almost devoid of karst development. The El Convento Cave-Spring System is the most prominent feature of the only large scale karst area developed on the South Coast Tertiary limestones. The karst topography is localized on the middle Juana Diaz Formation, which is a reef facies limestone, apparently because of the high density and low permeability of this zone as compared to the surrounding chalks and marls. In the El Convento System a sinking ephemeral stream combines with the flow from two perennial springs inside the cave. The surface drainage has been pirated from the Rio Tallaboa to the east into El Convento's subterranean course. The climate is generally semi-arid with 125-150 cm of rain falling principally as short, intense showers during Sept., Oct., and Nov. Sinking flood waters are absorbed by a small sinkhole and appear two to three hours later in the cave. In the dry season this input is absent. The two springs within the cave have a combined inflow to the system of 1.0 m3/min at low flow but half of this leaks back to the groundwater before it reaches the resurgence. The spring waters are saturated with CaCO3 and high in CO2 (26.4 ppm). As the water flows through the open cave it first becomes supersaturated by losing CO2 and then trends back toward saturation by precipitating CaCO3.

Sedimentary Development of the Walli Caves, New South Wales, 1974,
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Frank, R.

The sedimentary history of the Walli Caves began with the deposition of finely laminated clay during the latter part of bedrock development in the phreatic zone. After aeration and entrance development, entrance facies accumulated, and this was followed by the deposition of large amounts of fluvial and lacustrine deposits. Episodic fluvial erosion of these deposits then took place, and flowstone was formed extensively during periods between each active erosion phase to produce a striking sequence of suspended flowstone sheets.

Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology of the Sierra de El Abra and the Valles-San Luis Potosí Region, México, PhD Thesis, 1977,
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Fish, Johnnie Edward

The general objective of this work was to develop a basic understanding of the karst hydrology, the nature and origin of the caves, the water chemistry, the surface geomorphology, and relationships among these aspects for a high relief tropical karst region having a thick section of limestone. The Valles-San Luis Potosí region of northeastern México, and in particular, the Sierra de El Abra, was selected for the study. A Cretaceous Platform approximately 200 km wide and 300 km long (N-S) delimits the region of interest. A thick Lower Cretaceous deposit of gypsum and anydrite, and probably surrounded by Lower Cretaceous limestone facies, is overlain by more than 1000 m of the thick-bedded middle Cretaceous El Abra limestone, which has a thick platform-margin reef. The Sierra de El Abra is a greatly elongated range along the eastern margin of the Platform. During the late Cretaceous, the region was covered by thick deposits of impermeable rocks. During the early Tertiary, the area was folded, uplifted, and subjected to erosion. A high relief karst having a wide variety of geomorphic forms controlled by climate and structure has developed. Rainfall in the region varies from 250-2500 mm and is strongly concentrated in the months June-October, when very large rainfalls often occur.
A number of specific investigations were made to meet the general objective given above, with special emphasis on those that provide information concerning the nature of ground-water flow systems in the region. Most of the runoff from the region passes through the karstic subsurface. Large portions of the region have no surface runoff whatsoever. The El Abra Formation is continuous over nearly the whole Platform, and it defines a region of very active ground-water circulation. Discharge from the aquifer occurs at a number of large and many small springs. Two of them, the Coy and the Frío springs group, are among the largest springs in the world with average discharges of approximately 24 m³/sec and 28 m³/sec respectively. Most of the dry season regional discharge is from a few large springs at low elevations along the eastern margin of the Platform. The flow systems give extremely dynamic responses to large precipitation events; floods at springs usually crest roughly one day after the causal rainfall and most springs have discharge variations (0max/0min) of 25-100 times. These facts indicate well-developed conduit flow systems.
The hydrochemical and hydrologic evidence in combination with the hydrogeologic setting demonstrate the existence of regional ground-water flow to several of the large eastern springs. Hydrochemical mixing-model calculations show that the amount of regional flow is at least 12 m³/sec, that it has an approximately constant flux, and that the local flow systems provide the extremely variable component of spring discharge. The chemical and physical properties of the springs are explained in terms of local and regional flow systems.
Local studies carried out in the Sierra de El Abra show that large conduits have developed, and that large fluctuations of the water table occur. The large fossil caves in the range were part of great deep phreatic flow systems which circulated at least 300 m below ancient water tables and which discharged onto ancient coastal plains much higher than the present one. The western margin swallet caves are of the floodwater type. The cave are structurally controlled.
Knowledge gained in this study should provide a basis for planning future research, and in particular for water resource development. The aquifer has great potential for water supply, but little of that potential is presently used.

Palaeoenvironment of lateritic bauxites with vertical and lateral differentiation, 1983,
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Valeton Ida,
Formation of lateritic bauxites of the type described in this paper occurs world-wide in Cretaceous and Tertiary coastal plains. The bauxites form elongate belts, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, parallel to Lower Tertiary shorelines in India and South America and their distribution is not related to a particular mineralogical composition of the parent rock. The lateral movement of the major elements Al, Si, Fe, Ti is dependent on a high level and flow of groundwater. Varying efficiency of subsurface drainage produces lateral facies variations. Interfingering of marine and continental facies indicate a sea-land transition zone where the type of sediments also varies with minor tectonic movements or sea-level changes. A typical sediment association is found in India, Africa, South and North America. It consists of (i) red beds rich in detrital and dissolved material of reworked laterites, (ii) lacustrine sediments and hypersaline precipitates, (iii) lignites intercalated with marine clays, layers of siderite, pyrite, marcasite and jarosite, and (iv) marine chemical sediments rich in oolitic iron ores or glauconite. A model is developed to account for element distributions in lateritic bauxites in terms of groundwater levels and flow. Finally it is shown that many high-level bauxites are formed in coastal plains and that they are subsequently uplifted to their present altitude

Lateral Facies changes, Unconformities and Stratigraphic Reversals; their significance for Cave Sediment stratigraphy, 1984,
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Osborne R. A. L.

Traits gnraux de l'hydrologie karstique en Basse Cvenne, 1984,
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Fabre, G.
GENERAL FEATURES OF KARSTIC HYDROLOGY IN BASSE CEVENNE (FRANCE) - N to the town of Als (SE Massif Central and Cvennes), a very fractured carbonated belt outcrops. The karst concerns some facies of Trias, Lias-Dogger, Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous. Karstic flows are of two types: toward W, convergent to the important springs of la Tour-Dauthunes, and toward E and divergent. Ggeneral characteristics are presented. Economic aspect is pointed out, just as karstic stream piracy.

Shallow-marine carbonate facies and facies models, 1985,
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Tucker M. E. ,
Shallow-marine carbonate sediments occur in three settings: platforms, shelves and ramps. The facies patterns and sequences in these settings are distinctive. However, one type of setting can develop into another through sedimentational or tectonic processes and, in the geologic record, intermediate cases are common. Five major depositional mechanisms affect carbonate sediments, giving predictable facies sequences: (1) tidal flat progradation, (2) shelf-marginal reef progradation, (3) vertical accretion of subtidal carbonates, (4) migration of carbonate sand bodies and (5) resedimentation processes, especially shoreface sands to deeper subtidal environments by storms and off-shelf transport by slumps, debris flows and turbidity currents. Carbonate platforms are regionally extensive environments of shallow subtidal and intertidal sedimentation. Storms are the most important source of energy, moving sediment on to shoreline tidal flats, reworking shoreface sands and transporting them into areas of deeper water. Progradation of tidal flats, producing shallowing upward sequences is the dominant depositional process on platforms. Two basic types of tidal flat are distinguished: an active type, typical of shorelines of low sediment production rates and high meteorologic tidal range, characterized by tidal channels which rework the flats producing grainstone lenses and beds and shell lags, and prominent storm layers; and a passive type in areas of lower meteorologic tidal range and higher sediment production rates, characterized by an absence of channel deposits, much fenestral and cryptalgal peloidal micrite, few storm layers and possibly extensive mixing-zone dolomite. Fluctuations in sea-level strongly affect platform sedimentation. Shelves are relatively narrow depositional environments, characterized by a distinct break of slope at the shelf margin. Reefs and carbonate sand bodies typify the turbulent shelf margin and give way to a shelf lagoon, bordered by tidal flats and/or a beach-barrier system along the shoreline. Marginal reef complexes show a fore-reef--reef core--back reef facies arrangement, where there were organisms capable of producing a solid framework. There have been seven such phases through the Phanerozoic. Reef mounds, equivalent to modern patch reefs, are very variable in faunal composition, size and shape. They occur at shelf margins, but also within shelf lagoons and on platforms and ramps. Four stages of development can be distinguished, from little-solid reef with much skeletal debris through to an evolved reef-lagoon-debris halo system. Shelf-marginal carbonate sand bodies consist of skeletal and oolite grainstones. Windward, leeward and tide-dominated shelf margins have different types of carbonate sand body, giving distinctive facies models. Ramps slope gently from intertidal to basinal depths, with no major change in gradient. Nearshore, inner ramp carbonate sands of beach-barrier-tidal delta complexes and subtidal shoals give way to muddy sands and sandy muds of the outer ramp. The major depositional processes are seaward progradation of the inner sand belt and storm transport of shoreface sand out to the deep ramp. Most shallow-marine carbonate facies are represented throughout the geologic record. However, variations do occur and these are most clearly seen in shelf-margin facies, through the evolutionary pattern of frame-building organisms causing the erratic development of barrier reef complexes. There have been significant variations in the mineralogy of carbonate skeletons, ooids and syn-sedimentary cements through time, reflecting fluctuations in seawater chemistry, but the effect of these is largely in terms of diagenesis rather than facies

Barbuda--an emerging reef and lagoon complex on the edge of the Lesser Antilles island are, 1985,
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Brasier M, Donahue J,
The Pliocene to Holocene limestones of Barbuda have formed on a wide, shallow, outlying bank of the Lesser Antilles island arc, some 50 km east of the older axis of the Limestone Caribbees and 100 km east of the newer axis of the active Volcanic Caribbees. Contrasts with neighbouring islands of similar size include the lack of exposed igneous basement or mid-Tertiary sediments, the dominance of younger flat-lying carbonates, and the greater frequency of earthquake shocks. The history of emergence of the island has been studied through aerial reconnaissance, mapping, logging, hand coring, facies and microfacies analysis. These show a pattern of progressively falling high sea level stands (from more than 50 m down to the present level) on which are superimposed at least three major phases of subaerial exposure, when sea levels were close to, or below, their present level. This sequence can be summarized as follows: 1, bank edge facies (early Pliocene Highlands Formation) deposited at not more than c. 50-100 m above the present sea level; 2, emergence with moderate upwarping in the north, associated with the Bat Hole subaerial phase forming widespread karst; 3, older Pleistocene transgression with fringing reefs and protected bays formed at l0 to l5 m high sea level stands (Beazer Formation); 4, Marl Pits subaerial phase with widespread karst and soil formation; 5, late Pleistocene transgression up to m high stand with fringing and barrier reefs, protected backreefs and bays (Codrington Formation Phase I); 6, gradual regression resulting in emergence of reefs, enclosure of lagoons, and progradation of beach ridges at heights falling from c. 5 m to below present sea level (Codrington Phase II); 7, Castle Bay subaerial phase produced karst, caliche and coastal dunes that built eastwards to below present sea level; and 8, Holocene transgression producing the present mosaic, with reefs, lagoons and prograding beach ridge complexes, with the present sea level reached before c. 4085 years BP. The evidence suggests that slight uplift took place in the north of the island after early Pliocene times. Subsequent shoreline fluctuations are consistent with glacio-eustatic changes in sea level, indicating that the island has not experienced significant uplift during the Quaternary

Upper Permian (Guadalupian) facies and their association with hydrocarbons, Permian basin, west Texas and New Mexico, 1986,
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Ward R. F. , Kendall C. G. St. C. , Harris R. M.

Regional dolomitization of subtidal shelf carbonates: Burlington and Keokuk Formations (Mississippian), Iowa and Illinois, 1987,
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Harris David C. , Meyers William J. ,
Cathodoluminescent petrography of crinoidal limestones and dolomites from the Mississippian (Osagean) Burlington and Keokuk Formations in Iowa and Illinois has revealed a complex diagenetic history of calcite cementation, dolomitization, chertification and compaction. Dolomite occurs abundantly in subtidal, open-marine facies throughout the study area. Three luminescently and chemically distinct generations of dolomite can be recognized regionally. Dolomite I, the oldest generation, is luminescent, thinly zoned, and occurs mainly as a replacement of lime mud. Dolomite II has dull red unzoned luminescence, and occurs mainly as a replacement of dolomite I rhombs. Dolomite III is non-luminescent, and occurs as a syntaxial cement on, and replacement of, older dolomite I and II rhombs. Petrography of these dolomite generations, integrating calcite cement stratigraphy, chertification and compaction histories has established the diagenetic sequence. Dolomites I and II pre-date all calcite cements, most chert, intergranular compaction and styloites. Dolomite III precipitation occurred within the calcite cement sequence, after all chert, and after at least some stylolitization. The stratigraphic limit of these dolomites to rocks older than the St Louis Limestone (Meramecian) suggests that dolomitization took place before or during a regional mid-Meramecian subaerial unconformity. A single dolomitization model cannot reasonably explain all three generations of dolomite in the Burlington and Keokuk limestones. Petrographic and geochemical characteristics coupled with timing constraints suggest that dolomite I formed in a sea water-fresh water mixing zone associated with a meteoric groundwater system established beneath the pre-St Louis unconformity. Dolomite II and III may have formed from externally sourced warm brines that replaced precursor dolomite at shallow burial depths. These models therefore suggest that the required Mg for dolomite I was derived mainly from sea water, whereas that for dolomites II and III was derived mainly from precursor Burlington--Keokuk dolomites through replacement or pressure solution

Le karst du compartiment oriental de la basse Cvenne carbonate (Gard), 1988,
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Martin, Ph.
The karst of the Eastern compartment of the carbonated Lower Cvenne (Gard) - This text summarises 10 years of exploration and study of the eastern karst of the Gardon river basin above Als. Karst concerns 5 facies: Trias, Hettangian-Sinemurian (rich in limonite and pyrites), Upper Bajocian - Lower Bathonian (rich in pyrites), Upper Jurassic and Barremian. This lager is broken into more or less rolling panels, which have collapsed towards the Als rift. Tridimensional systems draining this karst are considered to be evolving toward better performance. It is a remarkable case of natural organisation. Structure is deduced from function. A morphologic approach explains the systems history. Three of the four identified karstic systems are simple. They are partial a natural models of the fourth: the Fonts karstic system. We describe on detail some elements of its structure (caves for ex.) and of its functio-ning (hydrodynamic, hydrochemistry). We show through pumping that the Cauvel river feeds the Fonts spring and the Carabiole spring. The effect of geological and geomorphologic characteristics of the spring site on water output is mentioned. We describe the realisation of a pumping station driving subterranean Cauvel river water a 100m back and point out the usefulness of speleological information.

Etude statistique des cavits karstiques de la rgion monpelliraine, 1989,
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Brun, J. F.
Statistic study of karst caves of the Montpellier area - A statistical study of a speleological file concerning the karstic area of Montpellier was undertaken, aiming to detect some factors statistically linked with cave distribution or speleometry. Shafts are generally disconnected from horizontal systems, but they use sometimes pre-existing galleries. They are significantly deeper when grouped, or when presenting parallel shafts, or when being old shaped shafts with a large entrance. Splited zones contain more potholes, yet they are not statistically deeper. Horizontal caves exhibit a discontinuous distribution by altitude levels, which are regularly observed in every sector, when the effect of diastrophism is taken into account. Total filling seems to be the rule as soon as galleries have stopped their activity: use or re-use by present streams is required to avoid this process. Old levels of caves, above Upper Miocene surfaces, exhibit different orientation patterns of galleries than younger ones. Some limestone facies seems to allow a stronger vertical (or horizontal) cave development. A schematic history of cave development in this area is proposed.

Yates and other Guadalupian (Kazanian) oil fields, U. S. Permian Basin, 1990,
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Craig Dh,
More than 150 oil and gas fields in west Texas and southeast New Mexico produce from dolomites of Late Permian (Guadalupian [Kazanian]) age. A majority of these fields are situated on platforms or shelves and produce from gentle anticlines or stratigraphic traps sealed beneath a thick sequence of Late Permian evaporites. Many of the productive anticlinal structures are elongate parallel to the strike of depositional facies, are asymmetrical normal to facies strike, and have flank dips of no more than 6{degrees}. They appear to be related primarily to differential compaction over and around bars of skeletal grainstone and packstone. Where the trapping is stratigraphic, it is due to the presence of tight mudstones and wackestones and to secondary cementation by anhydrite and gypsum. The larger of the fields produce from San Andres-Grayburg shelf and shelf margin dolomites. Cumulative production from these fields amounts to more than 12 billion bbl (1.9 x 109 m3) of oil, which is approximately two-thirds of the oil produced from Palaeozoic rocks in the Permian Basin. Eighteen of the fields have produced in the range from 100 million to 1.7 billion bbl (16-271 x 106 m3). Among these large fields is Yates which, since its discovery in October 1926, has produced almost 1.2 billion bbl (192 x 106 m3) out of an estimated original oil-in-place of 4 billion bbl (638 x 106 m3). Flow potentials of 5000 to 20 000 bbl (800 to 3200 m3) per day were not unusual for early Yates wells. The exceptional storage and flow characteristics of the Yates reservoir can be explained in terms of the combined effects of several geologic factors: (1) a vast system of well interconnected pores, including a network of fractures and small caves; (2) oil storage lithologies dominated by porous and permeable bioclastic dolograinstones and dolopackstones; (3) a thick, upper seal of anhydrite and compact dolomite; (4) virtual freedom from the anhydrite cements that occlude much porosity in other fields which are stratigraphic analogues of Yates; (5) unusual structural prominence, which favourably affected diagenetic development of the reservoir and made the field a focus for large volumes of migrating primary and secondary oil; (6) early reservoir pressures considerably above the minimum required to cause wells to flow to the surface, probably related to pressures in a tributary regional aquifer

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Magnin F. , Guendon J. L. , Vaudour J. , Martin P. ,
In the valleys of southeastern France, below karst massifs, river deposits with travertines show vertical sedimentary sequences always similar, with, from bottom to top: gravels, silts, chalks, travertines s.s. (stromatolitic encrustations with laminated facies), travertinous sand, silts. The study of flora and fauna fossilized by these formations shows a good correlation between the maximum of carbonate deposition (travertinous facies s.s.) and the optimum of vegetation development (forest). And finally, behind calcareous dams edified by travertine, paludal and lacustrine fields are environments developed trapping diversified sediments (clays, peats, silts,...). Then, dam and lake are forming a unit that we can call a 'travertine system'

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Melki F. , Zargouni F. ,
The Hammam Zriba mine is located in a lenticular horst structure, of varying width (0.3 to 1 km) and NNW-SSE strike over about 3 kms. The mineralization is strata-bound at the top of massive Portlandian limestones and is overlain by embedded Middle to Upper Campanian limestones with marl intercalations. This horst has formed during the late Jurassic as an emerged block bound by major faults that were remobilized later during various deformation stages. These facts are clearly documented by field observations and tectonic analysis essentially along the N160-N180 trending faults in the Portlandian lithofacies. These fractures have also controlled the palaeomorphological framework of the uppermost part of the Portlandian massive facies. The overlying Campanian unit exhibits onlap structures that rest on the irregular eroded karstified and mineralized surface which forms a screen surface for the upward channelized fluids and mineral formations in karst and graben. Fluids were apparently channelized by faults trending N070-N090 and N160-180, a few hundred metres long, that have facilitated karst, dissolution and mineral deposition during tectonic events

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